It was a long game against a tough opponent for the Michigan State Spartans. The North Carolina Tar Heels simply out played the Spartans in a 65 to 79 win. The Tar Heels had five players that scored in double digits — the whole team just rebounded better, hustled and retrieved loose balls more often and just altogether moved faster than their opponents.
Not that the Tar Heels should have been taken lightly, in fact, since coach Roy Williams has taken over, he has beaten Tom Izzo’s squad 7 out the 7 times the two teams meant.
Izzo said he was worried about the way the Spartans would play — considering Gary Harris was slowed down by an ankle injury, Adreian Payne is playing with a foot ailment, he also battle cramps all game —was suffering from flu-like symptoms — and added to all of that, Keith Appling got injured late in the first half.
Izzo had this to say after the game, ”We played the way we practice….. this was probably one of the more disappointing performances of my career here, to be honest with you. From the opening jump they took it to us. I’ve mentioned that we haven’t been practicing real well and that led to us not playing very well. I can’t think of a time I’ve been more disappointed in maybe myself and my job. We looked like a softer team and that solely falls on me.”
Izzo has the tall task of getting back to the drawing board to fix what went wrong and nursing his team back to health before the next game against Oakland Golden Grizzlies this coming Saturday. Although Oakland, not a fierce competitor sitting with a record of 1-7 this season, a beaten up Michigan State team coming off a loss could find themselves in an upset. It may sound like a far-fetched string of events, but lets not forget when State played Columbia earlier this season, a team they should had run over, they barely scraped a win out of the game.
The Tar Heels manged to turn Michigan State’s 14 turnovers into 19 points, they also got 11 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second chance points, all while holding State to a very low shooting percentage of 35 percent. These types of stats by Spartans would be taking advantage of by any competitive college team. And while belonging to one of the most competitive college conferences in the Nation, the Big Ten, State will experience a lot problems if they can’t get back on track.
There’s still a few games before the Big Ten Conference starts, taking advantage of that time and what should be a few easy games to get back to health and back on track should be a key priority for Tom Izzo and the Michigan State team.